Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Turquoise Splendor

Turquoise Splendor was my first large-scale piece. I made it in 2006 while I was living in my first apartment, working my first job fresh out of Indiana State U. Making it was a wonder for me. As it came together, I knew I was reaching a new artistic stage in my life. I felt something meaningful brewing.

Before Splendor, I was using herringbone, right-angle weave, netting, peyote and many other stitches just to make cuffs, and I wanted to try something new. Subscribing to Beadwork and Bead and Button Magazines really was my inspiration at the time, and I loved how the artists were encasing cabochons and stones, and many other things to make pendants from beads. So I gave it a go myself.

I made tiny right-angle weave squares for the backs of the little glass tiles, then started a box shape by adding beads around the outside of the square. To close off the tile inside the box I started adding size 15 seed beads to decrease and pull close the opening so the tile couldn't escape. And lookie there! A little piece of artwork! I wanted to stop there and just make a necklace out of that but a little voice told me to make a bunch and do something with them later. I kept beading.

It's great when I have a lot of little parts to assemble, rather than one large piece to create. It helps me focus on something small as part of something large, rather than part of something large! I get overwhelmed and lose my motivation. I made this necklace piece by piece and assembled it at the end, coming together as Turquoise Splendor. I made peyote stitched beaded beads out of the two colors of beads I was using for the little tiles, and ended up with a great big necklace that I really treasure.

It wasn't over, however. Even though this one was complete, I had done something different. I had gone to a new level, and knew in my heart that I needed to do another one. Thus began my beadwork career. 

Ever since, I have been visiting the beach every year or so, discovering new creations the sea brings to our feet.  I incorporate these treasures into my work.  You can view them all on my Etsy page.

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